The oldest breakup letter ever discovered was carved into stone by Neo-Babylonian King Nabonidus. A sixth century B.C.E. artifact, it reads, paraphrased, “I know you slept with my friend. If you don’t come get your things, I’m giving them to the moon temple.” 

As long as we’ve been falling in love, we’ve been falling out of it. Thus, a question old as time, how do you know it’s time to break up?

For some, it’s a matter of the love feeling gone. Freshman Will France, whose 11-month relationship ended over Winter Term, said he knew it was over “when I started to become a chore in her life and not something she enjoyed giving effort to.” When love languages begin to clash, it can be difficult to continue building a life together. 

For others, there’s a wake-up moment where one partner realizes who the other really is. Junior Natalie Schapiro said that it happened on her birthday. “He embarrassed me in front of my friends by getting mad at me and calling me an asshole. We went on breaks before we actually broke up, but that was a defining moment where I was like, I don’t think it’s gonna be just a break this time.”

If you’ve begun to flirt with people outside of your relationship, you’re probably not in it anymore, and ending it now saves everyone involved a lot of pain. Wawa employee and cheater Frankie Iuvara of Haddon Heights, New Jersey, put it simply: “You can’t love somebody if you like talking to other women!” 

But here’s the worst part: sometimes, there is no moment, no realization, no fatal blow. It’s just over. A lot of good things die, some prematurely. Ending things when you feel the love go, rather than dragging out the pain, saves everyone a lot more heartache. As Lennie Kravitz sings, “It ain’t over … until it’s over.”

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